Kanye West Will Be the Subject of A College’s Case Study On Mental Illness

2016 was a rollercoaster of a year for Kanye West. He had his successful moments of releasing a new album and a new collection of his clothing line, but there was the onstage mental breakdown during one of his concerts and the subsequent hospitalization for exhaustion.

“Crazy” is often the label people give to West because of his brash outspokenness, but one college professor is using West as the subject for a case study on mental illness.

Dr. Jeffrey McCune, who teaches at Washington University in St. Louis, is currently on his third and final lecture in a series about how West is both a “genius” and “crazy.” His final lecture is called, Name One Genius That Ain’t Crazy: Kanye West and the Politics of Self-Diagnosis.

In the lecture, McCune says we label West as crazy because he acts outside of the box we try to keep him in.

“Ultimately what I’m getting at in this lecture is not just about Kanye, it’s also about the larger notion of crazy and how we utilize it,” said McCune to Hypebeast.

He also plans to include how race brings intensity to the label “crazy” as a mental illness but not “crazy” as a type of innovator.

McCune’s overall intent for this lecture series is, “”I want to give people permission to be enraged. Give people permission to be upset, to be angry, to be frustrated. Give people permission to have moments where they break. Give people permission to have moments where they experience depression. I want to give them permission to have those moments without being characterized as being some type of deviant figure in the community. I don’t want to take away that experience and call it crazy. It’s reasonable. And it must be addressed with love, compassion, care, generosity.”

The lecture will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, April 12, at 6 PM at Washington University in St. Louis. It’s free and open to the public.